June 30, 2016

Congressional Delegation Announces Over $8 Million to Enhance RI Emergency Preparedness

WASHINGTON, DC In an effort to ensure that Rhode Island’s emergency responders and their federal partners are prepared to react to a range of crises and security challenges – from plane crashes to natural disasters to a mass-shooting – U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Representatives Jim Langevin and David Cicilline today announced that the state will receive $8,066,145 in federal national preparedness funds.

These federal funds, which are awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and will be administered by the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA), are targeted to help Rhode Island government agencies and organizations prepare for, respond to, and recover from regional and national emergencies, disasters, and mass-casualty events, in addition to providing for enhanced training and the purchase of essential equipment. 

“Whether it is a major storm or an attack like the ones we’ve seen in places like Paris, Istanbul, and Orlando, preparedness is critical and these federal funds will help address security vulnerabilities and enhance the state’s emergency response capabilities,” said Senator Jack Reed, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.  “I commend RIEMA and all our first responders for the excellent work they do and I am pleased to help deliver these federal funds to make our communities safer.” 

“As our state faces more frequent severe weather events from climate change, it’s more important than ever that we are prepared to respond effectively,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.  “These federal funds will help ensure our first responders have the resources to support efforts to keep Rhode Islanders safe when faced with disaster.”

“At a time when we face both increasing national security threats and also more frequent, damaging weather events due to climate change, emergency preparedness funding becomes more critical than ever,” said Congressman Jim Langevin.  “I am very proud to support this grant program, which will help protect Rhode Islanders at times of crisis and make our state more resilient so we can recover quickly in the wake of a disaster.”

“We need to do everything we can to ensure our first responders have the resources to do their jobs as safely and effectively as possible,” said Congressman David N. Cicilline. “This new federal funding from the Department of Homeland Security will help ensure Rhode Island is able to prepare and respond to emergencies wherever and whenever they occur.” 

Specifically, Rhode Island will receive:

State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) Funding: $3,734,500

This program provides support for the implementation of state homeland security risk-driven strategies to address identified planning, organization, equipment, training, and exercise needs to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism and other catastrophic events.

Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG): $3,306,975

This funding provides grants for emergency preparedness to assist state and local governments in enhancing and sustaining all-hazards emergency management capabilities.  Administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the EMPG Program provides necessary direction, coordination, and guidance, and assistance, so that a comprehensive emergency preparedness system exists for all hazards.

Port Security Program (PSGP): $1 million

This program provides grants to help protect critical port infrastructure, enhance maritime domain awareness, improve port-wide maritime security risk management, and maintain or reestablish maritime security mitigation protocols that support port recovery and resiliency capabilities. The Newport Fire Department will receive $723,375 and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) will receive $276,625 for programs related to port security, training, exercises, and surveillance.

Intercity Bus Security Grant Program (IBSGP): $24,670

These funds may be used by owners and operators of intercity bus systems to protect critical bus surface transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and to increase the resilience of bus transit infrastructure.


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Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921